Walt Disney World May 2012 Trip Report Pt 6
The next day we did something that was fairly rare for us. In fact, it’s something we hadn’t done since our “Disneymoon” in 2010. We set aside a day to relax at our hotel. Despite staying at several nice Disney resorts in the past two years, we had never set aside a day to actually enjoy the hotels at which we were staying. I always take time to explore the hotels and take photos in the early morning and late evening, but the options for enjoying the hotel are limited at those hours. At night, it’s usually after 1 am, and by that time there’s nothing to enjoy (unless you’re at the BoardWalk, where there are always some fun drunks to interact with by Jellyrolls). The restaurants are closed, the pool is closed, and all of the shops are closed. In the morning, even though I’m enjoying the resort, there’s usually a deadline for my enjoyment. I’m just biding my time until Sarah is ready to go. So I can’t exactly take a morning swim. Plus, I have a lot of camera gear with me, and it’s not exactly equipped for the pools.
It’s hard to explain why we don’t enjoy the resorts more. We’re down there enough at this point, and even when we visit the parks, we’re rarely have a hurried mentality trying to get as much done as we can. It’s probably because we’re often taking long weekend trips, and if we take a day at the hotel, that means we’re cutting out one of the parks (and by one of the parks, I mean a second visit to Epcot or the Magic Kingdom…sorry, Animal Kingdom!). Logic would dictate that if we’re visiting so frequently, spending more time at the hotel would be a good way to mix things up, keep our visits fresh, and prevent us from losing interest. That, of course, assumes that we’re “logical.” In reality, we love walking through the Magic Kingdom or Epcot just as much today as we did years ago, and we have never even come close to being bored by the parks. They have this allure for us that’s almost impossible to resist.
It’s difficult for us NOT to get up early in the morning and arrive at park opening. It’s downright impossible NOT to stay until the park has closed. Call us crazy, but…we’re crazy about the parks. It’s better than being regular ole crazy, I suppose.
Somehow, on this particular day, we managed to avoid the siren’s song of Epcot and the Magic Kingdom, and instead slept in a bit and headed down to the Beach Club’s pool once we got up. Apparently we view “sleeping in” differently than others, as the pool wasn’t even open when we arrived. I don’t recall the exact time, but we had to wait 5 minutes by a gate for the pool to open.
I’ve often heard people gushing over Storm-Along Bay, the pool at the Yacht and Beach Club, and in addition to location, the pool was a huge selling point for us that made us want to stay at the Beach Club Villas. Although it might seem like just a big pool with a dirty floor, in reality, it’s about the coolest thing ever. In fact, it’s so stellar that it cannot be adequately described without making up a new word. I’m not very creative, so I’ll just smash together a few superlatives to form a supersuperlative to describe it. Storm-Along Bay is awesometubtacularnesszing! Yep, it’s really that great.
Since the pool was so empty when we first arrived and we had never been to it before, we weren’t quite clear as to “pool protocol.” So when we saw other guests grabbing inner tubes, we followed their lead and grabbed them as well. About 45 minutes later, a window opened right behind the inner tubes and put out a sign with the hourly rental rates. Sarah felt bad so she returned hers. To be perfectly honest, I didn’t feel bad, so I didn’t return mine. Maybe I have less of a conscience, but my feeling was that if the Beach Club didn’t want people to use those inner tubes without paying to rent them, a sensible course of action might have been to open the rental station with the pool OR put a sign up clearly indicating there was a rental charge before opening the station OR not having the tubes out for anyone to grab at any time. If you have a random pile of inner tubes right next to a pool without any indication at all that people can’t use them without paying a rental fee, it’s unreasonable to expect people not to use them. It’s like putting an old couch at the corner of your driveway next to some trash cans and then running up to someone who tries to take it and telling them they now owe you $50.
The difference here was that no one said anything. I was floating around on the tube right by this rental station after it opened, and the Cast Member never said anything. Perhaps their philosophy mirrored mine, and they only charged for tubes once it got busy, or perhaps the Cast Members are instructed not to be confrontational about the tubes. Whatever the case may be, I used the tube for another couple of hours before returning it. To some of you, I’m probably as much of a Disney fugitive as someone who uses refillable mugs from the late-1990s. C’est la vie.
Anyway, my fugitive-on-the-run-from-justice confession aside, the morning at Storm-Along Bay was awesome! While the pool was still empty we got a lot of fun photos and floated around the lazy river. We swam a bit, and walked around feeling the awesome sand under our feet.
After about an hour of this, Sarah grew bored. Unlike me, she doesn’t enjoy swimming. Sarah claims to be quite adept at swimming, although I have never actually seen her do much swimming the entire time I’ve known her. Long-time readers of our trip reports likely recall that Sarah has fallen asleep in the Hall of Presidents and American Adventure on a couple of occasions, which is a sign of communism. Patriotic Americans will also note that being unable to swim is a sign of communism. I’m not really sure what to do about this potentially serious issue (my wife possibly being a communist), but rest assured, readers, I am conducting a thorough investigation. I will leave no stone unturned and I do not tolerate communists.
Once Sarah left, I wandered around the pool a bit more and found a better seat in the sand. After that I floated around for a bit, then went back to a lounge chair and fell asleep for a while. It’s pretty boring stuff to read about, but it was a fun change of pace. I love sleeping in the sun by water for some reason–if it were sunny, warm, and wouldn’t draw the ire of security, I would gladly have traded sleeping in our hotel room at night for sleeping on one of those lounge chairs.
I awoke to my phone ringing, as apparently I had been sleeping for a while and Sarah and a couple of our friends were waiting for me at Beaches and Cream. Luckily, I wasn’t too late, as our table still wasn’t ready when I wandered over there.
I decided to call an audible at lunch, ordering a Roast Beef Sandwich/Sub instead of the burger. It was a huge risk, but what can I say…I live on the edge. Yes, ordering one type of beef instead of another at Walt Disney World is basically the definition of “risk taking.” The sandwich was delicious, and was perhaps–dare I say–better than the burger. Even in all of its delicious glory, I did feel a bit odd not ordering the burger. Burgers and ice cream are the ole standbys of our Beaches and Cream trips, and it almost felt wrong not to order a burger. We also didn’t order ice cream. That was even more wrong and I don’t really want to talk about that colossal blunder. I’m actually surprised security didn’t detain us as soon as we left the restaurant for that one. Seriously, what were we thinking?!
We decided to wander around Epcot after lunch rather than heading back to the pool. I could have done a few more hours doing nothing by the pool, but I had already spent a lot of time “accomplishing” that. So we headed over to World Showcase and wandered around, going from country to country simply looking at the topiaries and enjoying the ambiance. It was nice. After that, we caffeinated at Club Cool.
In response to our guests’ feedback, we are striving to make these trip reports more interactive. (Disney says this and our audience likes Disney…so we assume this is true about our audience, too.) Share your responses in the comments:
Next, we were feeling ______________, so we decided to visit Universe of Energy to see some _____________ dinosaurs. __________ loves dinosaurs because dinosaurs are __________ _____________!!! The only people who don’t ___________ dinosaurs are _____________, and those people are __________!
I like this interactive thing–makes the trip reports much easier to write!
There are multiple pages in this Walt Disney World trip report installment. Navigate to the next page below!
Even before we had kids (yes they change EVERYTHING) we always picked a day for “just the pools” <– notice Pools is plural because each Disney resort has multiple pools.
If you don't like noise, kids, water slides and are a Communist then your resort will always have a pool tucked away somewhere that has next to no body swimming in it.
To me a day in the middle of the trip is always good to set aside for the Pool in the morning followed by DownTown Disney in the afternoon/evening.
It's a nice way to relax after walking the "parks".
Where’s the rest of this report? Am I being crazy?
Love them, it’s great to read reports from adult-only trips!
So Yachtsman is the #2 restaurant at WDW. So what’s #1?
A friend of my wife turned us on to The Yachtsman a few years ago and it has become one of the highlights of our visits to WDW ever since. I agree that the service is a superb blend of personal and professional. By the end of the meal you feel like you should promise your waiter that you’ll keep in touch.
If you have never done so, treat yourself to the assorted cheese tray appetizer. Oh. My. Disney. I don’t know who researches these cheeses and decides on the accompaniments but that person should have statues raised to him/her.
Although the restaurant is on the pricey side, you’ve just dropped a couple grand to visit WDW. Don’t start scrimping now; you’ll only cheat yourself out of one of the best meals you can possibly have there. And please, I’m begging you — if you plan to visit Le Cellier, go to the Yachtsman instead. You will seriously thank me later. The Yachtsman is only about 4 steps away and it spanks Le Cellier and leaves it crying in the corner. And you can get a reservation there without any hassle (compared with that overhyped Canadian missteakhouse).
I am thinking that Prof. Brainard might have been taking a suttle swipe at you and questioning your man hood! How dare he? If you want to be a pasty white dude who stresses over what to order for lunch then so be it! Who are we to judge?
The one thing that swimming in Stormalong Bay always leave me with is a absolute certainty that all pools should have sand bottoms.
This is one of your more insightful travel accounts and one that leaves me wondering where to begin, or whether I should begin at all. Should I mention the irony of such a pink man hating pinkos, or should I just say that I hope you slathered on the sunscreen? As for the case of the accidentally purloined inner tubes, you obviously did feel bad, in spite of protestations to the contrary, or you wouldn’t have felt the need to concoct such an elaborate defense of your behavior to be presented to us members of the jury. (You take all the sexiness out of being a bad boy, don’t you?) Time for lunch. Do I order the burger or do I order the roast beef sandwich? Do I dare to eat a peach? Will I feel odd? (We know you did, and I wouldn’t be surprised if people were staring at you.) Time for dinner and, just when it appears the fun is winding down, out comes the seersucker suit, a thing I have not seen since my early days when it was more or less the uniform of a certain type of southern gentlemen with a certain type of worldview–a nice way to put it–in the steamy reaches of the deep South (not that I am implying you are such a person or hold such views). It does look nice (light blue goes well with pink) and is the perfect choice for a hot and humid place such as central Florida. As always, Sarah is to be commended for her apparent patience, clear thinking, and calm through all circumstances and in all contingencies. I think you should consider having a trip in which Sarah makes absolutely all decisions about what to do, when to do it, etc., with the proviso that you have to go along cheerily and not attempt to influence her. Also, as always, your photographs are compelling and exceptional.
Funny that you mention that obviously I did feel bad about the inner tube. In the post, I almost pre-emptively addressed the fact that I was fixating on the tube for so long and that it should not be taken beyond face value. Then I thought that defending my defense would draw even more attention to how I “really” felt, so I decided to just leave it at that.
Am I a guilt-ridden criminal…or just someone who felt that a thorough defense was necessary in what could have been a divisive situation? Only I will ever truly know! 😉
As for letting Sarah make all of the decisions, who is to say she already doesn’t?
I loved what little I got to see at the Yacht Club about two years ago. You mentioned that the decor felt a little dated, but I promise you (as a proud New Englander) that’s what a New England yacht club feels like. In fact, in one of the bar/lounges there’s a table that I know for a fact my grandparents had in their living room in New London, about a mile from the beach. It doesn’t help my point that it was my grandparents’ house, but it wouldn’t be out of place at any nicer restaurant in the area. The steakhouses even are nautical themed, and they’ll cook just as good of a lobster as anywhere.
Great pictures, as always! I must say, Mad-Libs style trip reports are a first for me!
The rest of Yacht Club looks great–it’s just some of the wallpaper and decor in Yachtsman Steakhouse. It does look authentic to New England, but I think there are ways to retain authenticity and also make it look more modern. The rest of the Yacht Club has done that pretty well.
“Since Bistro de Paris is presently being dumbed down for the stroller crowd”
I was so sad to read about that! We went to that restaurant this year *because* of how it is. …was?
We’re considering Yachtsman’s next year, even though steak isn’t our favorite. The family member and friend we bring, however, love them some cow. And, we liked Narcoosee’s so much we figure we have to try the steak house now!
Next, we were feeling DARING, so we decided to visit Universe of Energy to see some FREAKING dinosaurs. SARAH loves dinosaurs because dinosaurs are DISTUBRINGLY HAUNTING!!! The only people who don’t LIKE dinosaurs are COMMUNISTS, and those people are CRAY CRAY!
I love the whole Beach Club hotel area and the pics of the Villas you posted are beautiful! I thought the daytime pictures were beautiful, and then I saw the ones with those brillant blue skies! What a great time of night to catch a photograph!
You have definitely cemented my desire to go to the Yachtsman steakhouse for dinner. We have yet to dine there, but it was on my possibility list. I guess it’ll have to be a definite list! Both the steak and lobster looked well prepared. And props to your Ron Swanson nod!
Next, we were feeling CATHARTIC, so we decided to visit Universe of Energy to see some SENSUAL dinosaurs. TOM loves dinosaurs because dinosaurs are COGNITIVELY INEPT!!! The only people who don’t ADORE dinosaurs are NEWTS, and those people are OFFENSIVE!
Beautiful pictures as always. We wanted to go to Yachtsmans on our recent trip but had too many other 2-credit meals already lined up. Next time I suppose.
Completely agree with you on Yachtmans. We had a meal there in August that was easily the best I have ever had on property. The service and food are both outstanding. They also have an awesome wine selection.
Next, we were feeling __FRIZZY FROM THE POOL, so we decided to visit Universe of Energy to see some _BACON FLAVORED_ dinosaurs. _TOM_ loves dinosaurs because dinosaurs are _COMMUNIST EATERS!!! The only people who don’t _BELIEVE IN_ dinosaurs are _VEGETARIANS_, and those people are _BACON DEFICIENT HEATHENS_!
We loved SAB so much that we plan on returning one day. BC/YC will be a great resort one day when the little Brickers finally arrive. That zero entry sandy area is perfect for the little ones. As for the Tube theft incident, I myself am guilty of the same thing. I found an unattended numbered tube floating around the lazy river and after asking many people if it belonged to them I hopped on guilt free. After about 20 minutes of blissfully ignorant tubing I was confronted by a woman having a major hissy fit, screaming at me and her child, who had apparently left the tube unattended while they were distracted. The scale of her over reaction was tempered by the thought that that poor child would have to go home with some one who could totally lose it over an inner tube. Gotta love the hissy fits you witness at Walt Disney World!
Next, we were feeling SLEEPY, so we decided to visit Universe of Energy to see some STINKY dinosaurs. SARAH loves dinosaurs because dinosaurs are EXTREMELY INSTAGRAMATIC!!! The only people who don’t ADORE dinosaurs are UNIVERSAL FANS, and those people are COMMUNISTS!